Lionel Messi scooped the big award of the night at the Fifa Football Awards, taking home the best men’s player of the year award. The Argentinian took home the prize for the 6th time after wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
Messi was one of three players shortlisted for the award, and beat off competition from Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk.
The 32 year old is showing no signs of slowing down and during the 2018/19 season he was simply fantastic, and fully deserving of this award. He scored a total of 54 goals in all competitions throughout that season, playing a total of 58 games. He had 20 assists on top of those goal scoring numbers, while also leading Barcelona to the La Liga title and the Champions League semi finals.
Although the figures for Messi’s goal scoring are impressive enough from the stats above, it is also worth noting that because he doesn’t play the full 90 minutes in every game, his goal scoring record works out at better than one goal every 90 minutes. He averaged a goal every 86 minutes during the 2018/19 season, which puts him at slightly better than a goal per game if you use the minutes he played and not the games he played.
Elsewhere at the awards, it was a successful night for Team USA’s Megan Rapinoe who took home the equivalent women’s player of the year award, with her performances at the 2019 Women’s World Cup proving to be a real highlight of her career and the main reason she took the award home.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp won the manager of the year award, beating off competition from Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.
Klopp guided Liverpool to European success with a win in the Champions League, 12 month on after he tasted defeat in the final of the same competition with his team.
Although Klopp was beaten to the Premier League title by Guardiola and Manchester City, he was still given the award ahead of the City manager due to his combination of winning the Champions League and finishing second in the Premier League.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was also in the running for the award after guiding his Spurs team to the Champions League final where they were beaten by Liverpool in May.
Another award that went the way of Liverpool was the goalkeeper of the year award which was given to Alisson Becker. The Brazilian has had a fantastic season, with club success in the Champions League with Liverpool and international success with Brazil in the Copa America.
The final award of the night worth mentioning was the fair play award, which went to Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa. He memorably ordered his team to allow Aston Villa to score an uncontested equaliser against them in what was a huge game after Villa were upset that Leeds played on after an injury.
The scenes at Elland Road on that day were pretty unsavoury but Bielsa came out with great credit for allowing things to be put right during the game, and got this award because of that.